By Kim Staudinger
Just when golfers thought the early season weather problems were over, chances of snow storms entered the forecast.
The Havre High golfers were originally scheduled to leave for Helena this morning at 4 a.m. but due to snow showers, the Ponies left around 7. Havre coach Keith Evenson said the golf course was expected to receive three inches of snow, thus delaying the start time of the two-day tournament. Workers at Bill Roberts Golf Course pushed the start time back to 10:45 today in order to have enough time to clear the snow off the course.
For the first time in history, the tournament was canceled last year due to weather, Evenson said. But this year, it will take more than a little snow and cold weather to cancel the event.
"They want to host the tournament even if it's nasty because AA state is held there," Evenson said.
Havre and Whitefish will be the only Class A schools at the tournament, with all the other Class AA schools expected to attend.
Only two girls will make the trip for the Ponies, as the tournament requires certain scores to qualify. For the girls, consistent scores of less than 120 on their home course are required, Evenson said. Seniors Katie Miller and Julie Wagner will make the trip.
"I want them to go out and have a good time and get over their nervousness of playing with AA girls," Evenson said. "They will have some good competition which will be good for them."
Nick Obie, Jason Johnstone, Kevin Harada, Troy Toner and Matt Felt will make the trip for the competitive boys team. Felt won a playoff earlier in the week to earn a varsity spot this weekend.
"He's had some experience at that level and right now and he's playing good," Evenson said. "We had a playoff and Matt stepped it up."
Evenson said he expects the boys to place as one of the top five teams, and that he will have several individual placers.
"I am very confident Havre will be in the top five," he said. "And, I really think a lot of our boys will be in the top 10."
Among the teams Evenson expects to give Havre its toughest competition are Whitefish, Helena, Kalispell and Great Falls. Still, another element adds to the benefits the Ponies will see from participating in the two-day tournament.
"Two day tournaments are good for us because that's what state is," Evenson said. "It gives us an advantage over other Class A schools. But overall, it's just a good experience for us to play with good competition."